Blessed… To Buy a Pearl

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one very precious pearl, he went and sold all that he owned and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46, Common English Bible).

I read somewhere years ago about the process an oyster uses to make a pearl. It happens when a grain of sand makes its way into the shell of the oyster and becomes lodged in the muscle of the oyster. Unlike we humans, the oyster has no hands to remove the irritation so it stays there. In order to deal with the irritation the oyster secretes a fluid that hardens around that grain of sand. That now hardened fluid is a pearl.

It is interesting that we place high value on another creatures irritation and suffering. When most of the time we would go out of our way to relieve suffering in an animal, in the case of an oyster, it would seem we might even want to encourage it just so we could harvest something we value.

Of course this parable isn’t really about that. A merchant makes a discovery. As a merchant this is a person who would recognize something of great value. To be brutally honest, I wouldn’t know a valuable pearl from a total fake. But, I am not a merchant who deals in these things.

When the merchant sees the pearl, Jesus says, he went out and sold all he had in order to possess this rare and beautiful pearl. Much like yesterday’s lesson. On a surface level this parable doesn’t make a great deal of sense. Think about it. Would you sell the roof over your head, the food you eat, the support for your family all to own something you could carry around in your pants pocket. And, while I realize this is a different parable, just like the woman who lost the coin (Luke 15:8-10) searched until she found the coin, if we read this parable in a literal way, we would be selling all our stuff in order to buy more valuable stuff.

One might also read this parable as to say the Kingdom of Heaven is up for sale. Jesus says here that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant who finds a pearl. The pearl alludes to the Kingdom of Heaven. The merchant sold everything in order to buy the pearl. Therefore, one could conclude, the Kingdom is for sale.

That is a terrible way to interpret this parable. Just as with the parable of the treasure in the field yesterday, today’s lesson is about one thing, sacrificing all you have in order to possess the greatest treasure, the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom is more valuable than any treasure we might find in a field. It is more valuable than any pearl a merchant might find. And, because of its great value, we should be willing to sacrifice whatever we have in order to possess the Kingdom for ourselves. It is not that we can buy the Kingdom, it is that we sacrifice in order to have it.

What is it you would sacrifice in order to have the Kingdom of Heaven?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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